Varnish Wattle

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Description

Common names

Varnish Wattle, Bacchus Marsh Varnish Wattle, Casterton Varnish Wattle, Dandenong Range Cinnamon Wattle, Large-leaf Cinnamon Wattle, Seymour Cinnamon Wattle, Southern Varnish Wattle, Stinkwood Bush, Varnish Acacia, Varnished Wattle, Willow Scrub.

Scientific names

Acacia verniciflua.

Family

Mimosaceae.

Genus

Acacia.

Name origin

Varnish, refers to the shiny or sticky "leaf" appearance.

Rainfall

400mm+.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

1-5m.

Presence in Australia

Widespread throughout region on lower slopes and rises. Less common in the western, drier areas.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas, SA.

Habitat

Chiefly dry sclerophyll forest. Often along rocky streams or skeletal ridges. Also in Box woodland.

Habit

Erect or spreading tree or shrub 1-5m high. Finely fissured grey bark, angled or flattened, usually resinous branchlets, and resinous "leaves" 3-14cm long.

Site preference

Well-drained shallow soil. Tolerates moderate frost and extended dry periods.

Characteristics

Not known to be grazed by livestock.

Flowering

Golden-yellow, Aug-Oct.

Seed collection

Mid Nov to early Jan, when pods brown and sticky.

Propagation

From scarified seed (±63 viable seeds per gram). Pour boiling over seeds and soak for several hours before drying and sowing.

Regeneration

From seed, particularly after fire. Establishes readily when direct seeded.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover for windbreaks.

Land protection

Useful for controlling soil erosion due to soil-binding fibrous roots. Legume, improves soil fertility by "fixing" nitrogen.

Wildlife

Excellent habitat. Flowers are a pollen source for native moths, butterflies and other insects. Insect-eating birds such as the Regent Honeyeater attracted. Seed source for parrots and native pigeons. Grubs living in bark are food for native birds.

Koori

Reputedly used to stupefy fish before capture.

Ornamental

Attractive, with glistening resinous foliage and bright yellow flowers.